Investment in Solar Power Outpaces Oil Exploration says IEA
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power investment is projected to exceed investment in oil exploration and extraction for the first time ever. The IEA estimates that solar power investment will reach $380 billion in 2023, while investments in oil exploration and extraction are expected to reach $370 billion.
This milestone solidifies solar energy as a true energy superpower. However, it’s worth noting that some of the sunniest regions in the world have the lowest levels of solar investment, highlighting the need for further growth and expansion in these areas.
The IEA’s findings highlight the rapid expansion of renewable energy, which is progressing faster than many realize. However, the agency warns that investment in fossil fuels needs to decelerate more rapidly to achieve emission reduction goals by 2050.
Apart from this tremendous growth of solar energy, the broader clean energy sector is also thriving, with an estimated annual investment of $1.7 trillion expected in 2023, a 25% increase compared to 2021. On the other hand, an additional $1 trillion is anticipated to be invested in fossil fuels, demonstrating that clean energy is attracting significantly more investment than its traditional counterpart.
Biden Vetoes Resolution on Solar Tariffs
President Biden has recently vetoed a resolution that aimed to reinstate tariffs on solar panels imported from specific Southeast Asian countries. The President cited concerns that this resolution would undermine his administration’s efforts to build a robust domestic solar supply chain.
The resolution sought to reverse a Department of Commerce rule that suspended tariffs on solar panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These tariffs were initially waived for two years in June 2022 to address a shortage of solar modules threatening American solar projects while simultaneously boosting domestic manufacturing capabilities.
In defense of his veto, President Biden highlighted the success of his administration’s plan, which led to 51 new and expanded solar equipment manufacturing plants being announced since he took office. Additionally, numerous private companies committed to increasing their solar panel manufacturing capacities.
The President emphasized that the United States is on track to increase its domestic solar panel manufacturing capacity eightfold by the end of his first term. While the Department of Commerce’s rule supports American businesses and workers in the solar industry, Biden clarified that the rule will not be extended beyond its expiration date in June 2024.
The resolution received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, but President Biden’s veto ultimately preserved the Department of Commerce’s rule.
However, the proponents of the resolution argued that it was necessary to penalize China for circumventing tariffs by shipping their products through Southeast Asian countries. However, President Biden maintained that implementing the resolution would hinder the development of the solar industry in the United States.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), representing over 1,000 solar companies, praised the President’s veto. The SEIA commended the preservation of clean energy progress and the prevention of job losses, particularly in the solar manufacturing sector. The veto signifies the administration’s commitment to business certainty within the clean energy sector and encourages companies to continue investing in American communities.
The increasing investment in solar power compared to oil exploration marks a significant turning point in the global energy landscape. As solar energy continues to gain momentum, it is vital to ensure that investment is distributed to sun-drenched regions that currently have lower levels of solar infrastructure.
Furthermore, President Biden’s veto of the resolution on solar tariffs demonstrates his commitment to promoting domestic solar manufacturing capacity and creating job opportunities within the clean energy sector. As the world moves towards a greener future, it is crucial to prioritize and support renewable energy sources like solar power to combat climate change effectively.